Teemu Tainio, pride of Lapland?

I am reliably informed, by people who should know, that ‘proper’ Lapland doesn’t start until you get north of the Ivalojoki river. I’ve had a look on the map, and asked at the train station, but no-one can sell me a ticket there. I’ll probably have to settle for tourist Lapland down in Kitilä or Rovaniemi or Kolari, if I ever decide to visit the quintessential Finnish landscapes (copyright of the Finnish tourist board). This melting snow is really depressing the hell out of me right now, so I may be tempted sooner rather than later.

Singapore’s ‘The Electric New Paper’ incurred Teemu Tainio’s disinterested ‘meh’ mood when they asked him what it was like to live near Santa Claus recently:

‘It’s the one question that always seems to come up when I speak to journalists: How’s Lapland? What’s Santa Claus like?’ says the 27-year-old utility midfielder.

‘Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to talk about home but when it’s every time, it gets boring. I’m like, ‘What about the football?’

Tainio was also pleased that he did his national service, unlike a fair few high profile Finns. Alex Ferguson wanted Teemu to come back after a trial, but he was adamant he’d do his stint:

‘I told United that I would be finishing my national service before I decided what to do with my career,’ he adds. ‘But it was not a hardship for me because I actually enjoyed my time in the army.

‘We also had an army football championship and I was voted the Player of the Tournament. They knew I was an up-and-coming player and even allowed me out to go training before I returned to camp.

‘The army also helped me become far more disciplined and mature as a person. When I see young people of the same age in England and France, who haven’t gone through national service, I see many differences between them and me.

‘It helped me grow up and that definitely helped when I moved abroad.’

The Flying Finn


One Response

  1. […] the Finnish football community. Too many Finnish players move abroad and rot in the reserves, and Tainio has been desperate to play some games for a long time now. Roy Keane was very happy, according to […]

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